Bangladesh. The violent riots and nationwide strikes that have characterized Bangladesh’s domestic policy for many years continued. At the beginning of the year, the police seized over 7,000 opposition supporters for the alleged purpose of “preventing a conspiracy against the government”.
However, the most serious event of the year was an armed assault against one of the opposition party’s Awami Party public meetings in the capital Dhaka in August, when at least 18 people were killed. The party leader and former Prime Minister Hasina Wajed attended the meeting, but escaped unharmed.
In June, the Awami Party broke a year-long boycott of parliamentary work, guaranteeing at least 45 seats for women through a constitutional amendment.
According to CountryAAH, the total population in Bangladesh is 164,689,394 people in 2020. The most severe floods in many years caused damage to more than the equivalent of SEK 50 billion. during the summer. The water covered almost 60% of the country’s surface and made over 30 million people homeless. About 600 people were killed. The government estimated that 20 million residents needed food aid for the rest of the year.
In August, the Indian industrial conglomerate Tata decided to invest the equivalent of almost SEK 15 billion. in Bangladesh in exchange for guaranteed gas deliveries for at least 20 years. The investment is the largest individual in Bangladesh’s history. that Tata is building a power plant, a steel plant and a factory for the production of artificial fertilizers.
Also in February, elements of the country’s border guards, Bangladesh Rifles revolted in Dakha headquarters. The rebellion was defeated by the military and 74 killed. The government subsequently decided to sue suspected frontier civilian soldiers for their participation in the uprising. In September 2009, 3,700 border soldiers were arrested for their possible participation in the uprising.
The government promised several times through 2009 to stop the security forces’ killing of civilians, but until October 31, 2009, 109 people were murdered by the security forces. Most murders were committed by the elite unit, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), which referred to the circumstances as “crossfire”, “hits” or “shot during escape attempts”. The killings escalated in the second half of the year, and the government defended the RAB with the elite unit’s right to defend itself. However, investigations showed that there were often regular executions – most often targeted at members of banned left-wing parties. On May 27, for example, RAB killed. two students from Dhaka Polytechnic University: Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Mohsin Sheikh. They were arrested at night and RAB subsequently stated that they had been killed during “escape attempts”. There is tradition in Bangladesh for, that killings committed by security forces are rarely investigated and the culprits are not convicted. It has created a culture of impunity around killing,torture and other forms of oppression of the population. In 2011, RAB murdered 54 people. Since its inception in 2004, it had committed 700 murders. Both the United States and the United Kingdom played a key role in training RAB.
In June 2012, religious riots erupted in neighboring Myanmar in the state of Rakhine between Buddhists and Muslims. The riots lasted until October, costing hundreds of deaths on both sides, thousands of burnt-down houses and up to 100,000 sent on the run. Many Muslims wanted refuge in Bangladesh, but Prime Minister Hasina vetoed this.
In November, a fire broke out in the Tazreen Fashions textile plant in Savar outside Dakah. 112 workers burned in. Their bosses had locked the doors and prevented the seamstresses from coming out. Yet two years after the accident, only 2 of the 16 foreign companies that sewed clothes on Tazreen paid compensation to the families of the killed and the survivors. Acc. UN guidelines require companies to pay compensation when such accidents happen to directly affiliated subcontractors.
In March 2013, President Rahman was diagnosed with pneumonia and on March 10 was sent by hospital flight to Singapore, where he died three days later. The post of President was temporarily taken over by President Abdul Hamid, whose first office was to declare three days of country grief. In his four years as president, Rahman reached the death sentence 21 times. In comparison, his predecessors made only 4 pardons in the period 1972-2008. In other cases, Rahman had changed sentences to life in prison for a lower sentence – typically 10 years in prison.
Abdul Hamid fully assumed the post of president in April 2013.
A fire at the Rana Plaza textile plant in April 2013 cost over 1,100 lives. The worst occupational accident in the country’s history. It illustrated the hair-raising conditions the country’s textile workers worked under – most often locked inside the factories. At this point, conditions were no different than in the United States 100 years earlier, where a number of fires in textile mills also cost many hundreds of women their lives. Following the fire, 70 European textile companies signed an agreement to improve the working conditions of their Bangladesh subcontractors by conducting regular inspections and publishing the results. Textile companies in the United States would not sign the agreement but designed their own, later criticized for not giving workers in Bangladesh the right to organize.